A retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd.
George H.W. Bush, in 1990, took a coalition of nations into Kuwait and Iraq to protect one of our sources of oil from an invading Iraqui army. We went to war for oil, and many Americans didn’t think that was justified. The majority, however, saw our actions as protecting a friendly nation from a tyrant, Saddam Hussein.
Currently, Donald Trump is threatening war with Iran and seems to be claiming that Iran attacked our friend, Saudi Arabia. A clearer version of the truth is that both Iran and Saudi are aggressor nations and neither is a friend to America. Both nations are religious and economic rivals and both sponsor international terrorism. After all, it was Saudis who brought down the trade towers on 9/11 and it is the Saudis who are heavily responsible for the civil war that is raging in their neighboring country of Yemen.
In the last week, two articles about economic classes have caught my attention. One had to do with what income was required to be truly middle-class and the other was what is needed to be considered upper-class. The news isn’t good for most of us.
First of all, most of us like to believe we are middle-class and, depending on one’s definition, most of us are. But, consider this definition. Middle-class is being able to have achieved an advanced education, purchase a quality home for yourself and your family, drive decent vehicles, take your family on frequent quality vacations, eat well, have access to quality medical care, provide your children with advanced educations that don’t leave them with a ton of student debt, permit retirement at a relatively early age while leaving you enough savings and investments to live a lifestyle similar to what you have been used to. Are you finding it difficult to fit yourself into that definition? This is not where most of us find ourselves and to have all the above one needs an annual income of approximately $235,000.
For as long as there has been an American “war on drugs” the nation of Columbia has been a target. Sitting at the top of South America, Columbia has been a major supplier of illegal marijuana and cocaine for decades. Arguably, no one knows more about growing pot and coke than Columbia.
Well, according to National Public Radio Columbia is putting all this experience into legal business opportunities, supplying the world’s needs for medical marijuana. NPR says:
“Colombia is on track to become a medical marijuana powerhouse. The South American country now has more than two dozen legal cannabis companies that have invested more than $600 million in building new facilities. The government legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and the country now exports products to Canada and the U.K.”
It’s becoming more obvious that I’m enjoying mounting my cellphone to my minivan’s window and videoing my trips around the Greenfield, Ohio’s countryside. Just as obvious is that a sizable number of CGS’s visitors enjoy watching these postings. Most come to CGS from Facebook and will leave favorable remembrances in the groups they belong to.
By the way, this trip to Weaver’s produced a small basket of freestone Virginia peaches, a small bag of “candy” onions, several sweet banana peppers, one small zucchini, and some of the season’s last sweet corn. The sweet corn this year has been for the pits and this was no different.
One of the great things about the Internet is how quickly the satirists rally when someone screws up. Nobody has made themself a bigger target than Donald J. Trump. This latest Sharpie Gate thing could have been totally avoided if only he had some degree of being able to cop to an error and correcting it.
Just for the hell of it, I took a couple of minutes this morning to collect a bunch of memes based on Trump’s using a Sharpie to alter a weather map to try and cover his ass rather than just letting a simple human error roll off his shoulders.
This is what arrogance and a yuge ego will get you!
We were recently in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, near the Virginia and Maryland borders. Driving along US 48 and other highways we were constantly presented with large numbers of wind turbines along the mountain ridges. Actually, we were kind of lost and didn’t expect this much wind energy generation in the mountains of what has always been “coal” country.
Amongst all these towers of turbines, we did come across one old fashioned, genuine, smoke-belching, coal-fired generating plant, the generating station at Mount Storm in Grant County, WV. Mount Storm actually consists of three generating plants that were built in the mid-’60s and early ’70s, and from day one were very controversial. The power company, Dominion Resources, failed to tell its employees and nearby residents that its smokestacks were polluting the air with toxic wastes such as asbestos. Lots of people were cursed with lung diseases, including mesothelioma before Dominion cleaned up its act.
OLD BULBS: Trump is relaxing restrictions on the sale of old-fashioned, energy inefficient, incandescent light bulbs. If Americans still only used these bulbs it would waste enough energy to power every home in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Back in 2005, I decided I’d like to judge a BBQ contest so I did a little research and discovered I’d have to take a class through either the Kansas City BBQ Society or the Memphis BBQ Network. I decided on Memphis because it was closer and I’d heard more about the Memphis in May events which included a huge BBQ festival and competition.
So, off to Memphis went I and after the training session, I decided to meander through the Delta for several days. I’d been there before but always with family and always on a schedule. I was retired now and my time was my own.
WORDS MATTER: World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. That was 80 years ago and it was followed with the Soviet occupation of Poland that lasted until 1989. Our unthinking and uncaring leader just sent Poland a note of congratulations. Hey Donnie, Poland didn’t just have a baby!
My long-time friend and once teaching colleague, Dave Shoemaker, is running for an open seat on the Paint Valley School Board. There are lots of qualifiers for such a position and Dave meets and surpasses most, if not all, of them. I don’t live in his district but if I did he’d certainly have every one of my votes.
Why is Dave running? Well CLICK HEREand read what he has to say about it.
If you live in the PV district I strongly urge you register to vote and that you cast that vote for Dave Shoemaker!
I don’t know from where I obtained this short film clip but it was probably emailed to me. Obviously, from the WWII era, it would have been a typical scene repeated many times each day, all over the nation. But, the big question is, did she really say what I think she said?
People love to talk about how great things used to be and in many ways, I’m no different. Several conversations recently have me thinking about those good old days. So, I decided to make a list of what we used to pay for things. Feel free to add to it.
There was a time in the American South when juke joints were to be found at every dirt road crossing. Sometimes they were ramshackle houses or abandoned commercial buildings but often, they were small buildings assembled from whatever could be found. Rough cut boards, disassembled shipping crates, and rusting metal roofing were common.
Inside these places could be found fried catfish, smoked pork, cold beer, corn liquor and a couple of guys with cheap instruments pounding out the rhythms that we know today as the blues. If there wasn’t live music there’d be a jukebox playing records and thus the name, juke joints.
In case you’ve never heard of six degrees of separation here a working definition:
Six degrees of separation is the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.
Over a recent weekend at a blues festival in Wheeling, WV I experienced a version of it on two occasions. When we first arrived my son, Mike, said to the couple in front of us, “Can we be your neighbors?” The man said certainly and introduced himself as Walt. I asked where he was from and the answer was Pittsburg. I told him I was from near Hillsboro and he immediately responded that he was very familiar with this area. Walt had been in the linoleum and flooring business and his customers included several Mennonite builders in this area. He rattled off a couple of names that I wasn’t familiar with and one of them had the surname of Weaver. I said I know a Weaver that owned a produce market and he said, “Oh yeah, Fred and Velma outside Rainsboro, I know them well.” Damn, how many degrees was that?